Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 80
Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.
Listen in playlist format here.
Korean pop star teamed HYO up with 3LAU for the sassy “Punk Right Now” in late 2018, drafting both English and Korean iterations. Months later, the track has been given a bold rework by Madeaux, who’s put his signature dark, bold stamp on it with a booming bassline and formidable builds. His steamy style works effortlessly with HYO’s unabashed vocals, and the result is a remix that’s equally gritty and cohesive. Madeaux’s rework is part of a three-track remix EP also includes takes by KUURO and Raiden.
Dutch producer Maduk has returned with a brilliantly diverse three-track EP via Liquicity Records. In the EP’s opener, “Go,” Maduk teams up with vocalist Lachi to craft a euphoric drum & bass piece that delivers the listener directly to the heavens with spirited horns and soaring vocals. “I started working on ‘Go’ one year ago and the instrumental gave me so much energy and happiness right away,’ Maduk says in a release. “I have never recorded this many brass instruments (trumpet, saxophone, trombone, tuba) for a track before, so it’s very exciting!”
French artist Icy Lust has gone through a huge life transformation over the past year. The former web developer quit his job and moved to Paris study sound engineering at Abbey Roads Institute, something he calls one of the best choices of his life. “Lots of things started to get clearer,” he told DA. “Got surrounded with inspiring people, lost myself in deeply listening to music that enhanced my moods. I started to really ask myself what do I love, feel, and what kind of stories my brain builds through those records. It has been a whole introspection, and still is.” His newest track, out now via Tasty, takes place at this turning point. It’s a beautifully and deeply introspective piece, comprised of moody melodies and lush vocals. His future knows no “bounds.”
Essenger‘s clear knack for production and knowing what “works” shines brighter and brighter with each release. The Kansas City artist has only been releasing music under this moniker for less than a year, but he’s already made a name for himself with innovative originals and unique takes on songs like deadmau5‘s “Strobe” and WRLD‘s “Rooms.” His latest is an original called “Afterburner,” which he’s branded as a “synthwave/alt.” The single is much more than either of these classifications, however. He builds slowly, with emotive vocals and twinkling melodies. The chorus, however, takes off like a rocket, with a powerful guitar melody and racing synths. It’s a gorgeous blend of nostalgia-inducing synthwave and something that’s all Essenger’s own.
Party Ghost‘s latest is a brief but satisfying number, packed with all the elements that comprise an ear-catching piece by the California producer. “Thinking About You” marks his first release since December’s “Wraith,” which was a decidedly darker piece. This latest one has a wistful and dreamy atmosphere to it, sprinkled with lighthearted melodies and subtle bass. Distant vocals of “I’ve been thinkin’ ’bout you” weave in and out between a bouncing beat, creating the easygoing environment of someone caught in a daydream. Its message is simple and sweet.